The 10 Best Alaska Adventures For Outdoor Enthusiasts
Alaska adventures are not restricted to the extremely fit, unless you fancy perilous and epic activities, like climbing massive glaciers. Luckily, some of the most spectacular journeys across Alaska can be done by ordinary folks. Alaska’s wild beauty is more accessible than most people think.
Seek out the wondrous wilderness, see the fascinating Aurora Borealis, and catch some salmon for lunch or snacks. The endless variety of scenery in Alaska is best explored through various means. Here are the 10 best ways to get the most out of your Alaska vacation.
Drive a car to reach Alaska’s most scenic, secluded spots
A remote worker and avid road tripper named Chris (Instagram: go.wildly) took an extended vacation to Alaska. In his experience, the best way to see Alaska on a budget is by car. His expenses were mostly limited to gas, food, and tour or cruise fees. Besides great savings, driving around Alaska in the comfort of his own car allowed him to stop at random places where he finds empty wilderness and rich wildlife, e.g. brown bear, polar bear, moose, and caribou. Most nature and outdoor lovers don’t mind getting lost in the middle of Alaska’s grand landscapes.
Go dog sledding
You don’t have to train and join the famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race to get a taste of Alaska’s favorite sport. Since 1972, dog mushing has become the official sport of the state for its sheer fun, physical demands, and man-and-dog teamwork. So what’s the best breed of dog for this kind of sport? The adorable, fun-loving, powerful Alaskan malamute. Plenty of tour companies in Alaska can arrange beginner-friendly dog-mushing, including Alaska Sled Dogs & Musher’s Camp and Skagway Sled Dog & Musher Camp Tour. These tours often come with knowledgeable local guides who can help you navigate Alaska’s rugged yet fascinating terrains.
Rent a charter boat and go fishing
Alaska has long been known to trade fur and fish. There’s an anecdote from local anglers that sometimes there are more fish than water in a lake or sea. Freshwater fish, like salmon, sheefish, steelhead, and arctic char, abound in Alaska. If you have a penchant (and the patience) for fishing, be sure to obtain a license, so you will be allowed to catch some of the best fish for lunch or dinner. Sport fishing is among the popular things to do in Alaska. Pescetarian or not, this is an adventure you shouldn’t say ‘no’ to.
Ski on a famous slope at one of Alaska’s prestigious resorts
Take a ride on a ski lift to reach the top of Alyeska Resort, and hone your ski techniques to enjoy this epic winter sport. For some visitors, skiing is the best way to have fun when it is very cold in Alaska. The view from Alaska’s colossal mountains and the thrill of sliding down snow-covered peaks is nothing short of breathtaking. Most ski resorts have facilities designed for kids, so skiing in Alaska is an adventure that suits healthy travelers of all ages.
Hike up one of the breathtaking Alaskan glaciers
First-time glacier hikers are free explore the grandeur of Root Glaciers on foot, but anyone who dares to take this journey has to get used to walking more than five miles. Need motivation to start training for this challenge? During and after the hike, magnificent scenery awaits. See wonderful waterfalls, charming canyons, stunning icy chambers, and pristine pools. Although tricky, glacier hiking will give you one of the most extraordinary experiences in Alaska.
Fly above Alaska’s highest peak
Take a flightseeing tour from Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, to Denali, North America’s highest peak. Several trusted tour companies offer flightseeing tours year-round for visitors who want to make the most of their trip to Alaska. According to the New York Times, there’s one licensed pilot out of 58 Alaskans. That’s quite comforting for nervous first-time floatplane passengers. With this option, Alaska’s most stunning summits and fantastic panoramic views are no longer just for extreme adventurers but also for ordinary travelers with insatiable curiosity.
Take a cruise along the Columbia Glacier
It’s difficult and dangerous to get up close to one of the world’s fast-moving glaciers, the Columbia Glacier. But taking a cruise now makes this possible. Join one of the glacier cruise trips and admire the breathtaking blue icebergs, rich sea life (e.g. otters, porpoises, and whales), and dramatic melting of glaciers from Chugach Mountain down to the sea. These huge tidewater glaciers are so iconic you can’t leave it out of your Alaska adventure itinerary.
Go kayaking along Thomas Bay
Venture Southeast of Alaska and rent a sea kayak for a serene sightseeing tour of Thomas Bay. Keep your eyes peeled for winter wildlife celebrities like bears (brown and black), wolves, rabbits, squirrels, and other creatures. If you’re moderately fit, kayaking will bring you closer to Alaska’s rarest sights, like Baird Glacier draining into the bay. You will pass by plenty of splendid sights so majestic you’ll need to a camera to capture their splendor.
Drive a snowmobile to Alaska’s backcountry
Snowmachines simplify Alaska travel without taking the fun out of it. In fact, it even adds to the novelty of the trip. Lucky for you, many parks, fjords, and lake trails are accessible by snowmobile. Guides can steer you to the right track and make sure you are treading the right paths. Once you gain confidence maneuvering one of these snow motor vehicles, you can tackle more challenging routes in Alaska.
Spot the Northern Lights in the comfort of an Aurora Pod
You can spend weeks in Arctic Alaska without catching a glimpse of the elusive Aurora Borealis. This chase in the middle of the cold has frustrated thousands of Alaska visitors. Now, an Aurora Pod is about to change this by providing food and well-selected amenities to keep you warm and fed until the Northern Lights appear. Yes, this is still a test of a traveler’s patience, but at least the pod will keep you safe and warm while you wait.